There are few crimes more heinous than child molestation. Whether violently attacked by a stranger or preyed upon by a trusted adult in the home, school or place of worship, children who survive such assaults are often left to walk a lifelong path of sorrow and pain. Unfortunately, our government has failed to take steps that will make a meaningful difference in preventing sex offenses. Megan's Law, civil commitment, and the newest trend in anti-sex offender legislation, banishment zones, which restrict sex offenders from living within certain geographic areas, all play to the fears of the public. But when it comes to stopping sex assaults, these measures do more harm than good. To understand why, one must look at the realities of sex crimes in America today. The vast majority of sex offenses are committed by trusted adults-family members, friends, clergy-and go unreported because of manipulation of the victims, unconscionable decisions by other adults, or both. We saw this most vividly when lawsuits uncovered that the Catholic Church hierarchy had hidden and ignored countless cases of child sexual abuse for decades, choosing to protect its reputation over the children under its care.
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LEGISLATION RELATED TO PERPETRATORS OF SEXUAL CRIMES
But now critics across the country are demanding review and revision of these policies, saying they are based on false assumptions, are a waste of money and do more harm than good. Alissa Ackerman of California State University Fullerton, a criminologist and national expert on the treatment of sex offenders. Individuals found to be low-risk — and some adjudged moderate-risk — would be on a registry only available to law enforcement personnel. The proposal was crystalized into a bill introduced during the immediate past session of the General Assembly, though it failed to make it out of the Judiciary Committee. State Sen. Paul Doyle, co-chair of the committee, said the complexity and emotional nature of the issue made it more appropriate for the longer session next year.
Edition: Available editions United Kingdom. Become an author Sign up as a reader Sign in. A first-of-its-kind study in Australia is looking at ways to support sex offenders to restart their lives after prison.
Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Sexual violence is a significant public health problem in the United States. In an effort to decrease the incidence of sexual assault, legislators have passed regulatory laws aimed at reducing recidivism among convicted sexual offenders.